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Headaches After Car Accident

October 14, 2019

Car accidents cause millions of personal injuries each year. A vehicle collision could cause a range of injuries, from broken bones to internal organ damage. One of the most significant – and common – car accident injuries is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI could affect a victim’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

It is extremely important to take any possible signs of a brain injury seriously after a car accident, including persistent headaches. Headaches after a car accident could also be a sign of another type of injury, such as whiplash or a skull fracture.

Common Brain Injury Symptoms

A headache is a common symptom after a car accident. Headaches can have many causes – not all of which point to brain injuries. You could be suffering headaches due to chronic pain elsewhere, such as in your back or neck. Whiplash could also cause headaches, as could vision changes, tension, trouble sleeping or post-traumatic stress after a car accident. Your headache may indicate a brain injury, however, if you also notice other signs of TBI.

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Trouble speaking
  • Confusion or cognitive changes
  • Loss of consciousness

If you notice other potential signs of a TBI on top of headaches, you may have a brain injury. Otherwise, your headaches could be from something else associated with your car accident, such as muscle tension or a neck injury. Having just one or two potential symptoms of a brain injury does not necessarily mean you have one, but it could be enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. Either way, a doctor could help you treat your persistent headaches after an auto accident.

When to See a Doctor

While headaches alone may not mean you have a brain injury, it may be significant enough to see a doctor if you banged your head in the car accident. This is especially true if you did not experience headaches – or they were not as severe or persistent – before your crash. Headaches could be a sign of something wrong, such as a concussion or a more serious brain injury. See a doctor if you notice headaches in conjunction with other potential brain injury symptoms, such as dizziness or nausea. A doctor can also diagnose secondary brain injuries.

It is always a good idea to visit a doctor after an auto accident, with or without potential symptoms of a brain injury. Brain injuries are unique in that you may not notice them right away. Symptoms could take hours or even days to appear after your car accident. In that time, your brain could suffer serious cell damage that prompt medical care may have been able to prevent. Going to a hospital for an exam or x-rays after a car accident could diagnose a brain injury even before you notice symptoms such as headaches.

Post-Traumatic Headache

If you suffer severe or debilitating headaches after a car accident, it could interfere substantially with your daily life. You may experience pain levels from dull and aching to severe or stabbing sensations. Post-traumatic headaches after auto accidents could last weeks and dissipate – or else follow a victim around for months, becoming a chronic condition. Post-traumatic headaches, with or without traumatic brain injuries, could make you eligible for a compensation award from an at-fault party.

The person or entity that caused your car accident may owe you financial recovery for your headache-related physical pain, trauma, chronic suffering, disability, medical expenses, pain medications, treatments and lost wages. Since it can be difficult to prove the existence of post-traumatic headaches (especially without a related brain injury), hiring a personal injury lawyer could help you build a strong liability case against one or more parties. Your brain injury attorney can hire experts and gather evidence such as medical records to help you prove your headaches and how they have impacted your life since the accident.